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Interesting Facts about India

March 17, 2012


  • India never invaded any country in her last 100000 years of history.


  • When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization). The name ‘India’ is derived from the River Indus, the valleys around which were the home of the early settlers. The Aryan worshippers referred to the river Indus as the Sindhu. The Persian invaders converted it into Hindu. The name ‘Hindustan’ combines Sindhu and Hindu and thus refers to the land of the Hindus.


  • Chess was invented in India.


  • Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus are studies, which originated in India. The ‘Place Value System’ and the ‘Decimal System’ were developed in India in 100 B.C.


  • The World’s First Granite Temple is the Brihadeswara Temple at Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The shikhara of the temple is made from a single 80-tonne piece of granite. This magnificent temple was built in just five years, (between 1004 AD and 1009 AD) during the reign of Rajaraja Chola.


  • India is the largest democracy in the world, the 7th largest Country in the world, and one of the most ancient civilizations.


  • The game of Snakes & Ladders was created by the 13th century poet saint Gyandev. It was originally called ‘Mokshapat’. The ladders in the game represented virtues and the snakes indicated vices. The game was played with cowrie shells and dices. In time, the game underwent several modifications, but its meaning remained the same, i.e. good deeds take people to heaven and evil to a cycle of re-births.


  • The world’s highest cricket ground is in Chail, Himachal Pradesh. Built in 1893 after leveling a hilltop, this cricket pitch is 2444 meters above sea level.


  • India has the largest number of Post Offices in the world.


  • The largest employer in India is the Indian Railways, employing over a million people.


  • The world’s first university was established in Takshila in 700 BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4th century was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.


  • Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago.


  • India was one of the richest countries till the time of British rule in the early 17th Century. Christopher Columbus, attracted by India’s wealth, had come looking for a sea route to India when he discovered America by mistake.


  • The Art of Navigation & Navigating was born in the river Sindh over 6000 years ago. The very word Navigation is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘NAVGATIH’. The word navy is also derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Nou’.


  • Bhaskaracharya rightly calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the Sun hundreds of years before the astronomer Smart. According to his calculation, the time taken by the Earth to orbit the Sun was 365.258756484 days.


  • The value of “pi” was first calculated by the Indian Mathematician Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is known as the Pythagorean Theorem. He discovered this in the 6th century, long before the European mathematicians.


  • Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus also originated in India.Quadratic Equations were used by Sridharacharya in the 11th century. The largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Hindus used numbers as big as 10*53 (i.e. 10 to the power of 53) with specific names as early as 5000 B.C.during the Vedic period.Even today, the largest used number is Terra: 10*12(10 to the power of 12).


  • Until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds in the world
    (Source: Gemological Institute of America).


  • The Baily Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. It is located in the Ladakh valley between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan mountains. It was built by the Indian Army in August 1982.


  • Sushruta is regarded as the Father of Surgery. Over2600 years ago Sushrata & his team conducted complicated surgeries like cataract, artificial limbs, cesareans, fractures, urinary stones, plastic surgery and brain surgeries.


  • Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient Indian medicine. Detailed knowledge of anatomy, embryology, digestion, metabolism,physiology, etiology, genetics and immunity is also found in many ancient Indian texts.


  • India exports software to 90 countries.


  • The four religions born in India – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, are followed by 25% of the world’s population. Jainism and Buddhism were founded in India in 600 B.C. and 500 B.C. respectively.


  • Islam is India’s and the world’s second largest religion. There are 300,000 active mosques in India, more than in any other country, including the Muslim world.


  • The oldest European church and synagogue in India are in the city of Cochin. They were built in 1503 and 1568 respectively. Jews and Christians have lived continuously in India since 200 B.C. and 52 A.D. respectively.


  • The largest religious building in the world is Angkor Wat, a Hindu Temple in Cambodia built at the end of the 11th century.


  • The Vishnu Temple in the city of Tirupathi built in the 10th century, is the world’s largest religious pilgrimage destination. Larger than either Rome or Mecca, an average of 30,000 visitors donate $6 million (US) to the temple everyday.


  • Sikhism originated in the Holy city of Amritsar in Punjab. Famous for housing the Golden Temple, the city was founded in 1577.


  • Varanasi, also known as Benaras, was called “the Ancient City” when Lord Buddha visited it in 500 B.C., and is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world today.


  • India provides safety for more than 300,000 refugees originally from Sri Lanka, Tibet, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who escaped to flee religious and political persecution.


  • His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, runs his government in exile from Dharmashala in northern India.


  • Martial Arts were first created in India, and later spread to Asia by Buddhist missionaries.


  • Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team.



2012 – A Scientific Reality Check

December 1, 2009

“extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

There apparently is a great deal of interest in celestial bodies, and their locations and trajectories at the end of the calendar year 2012. Now, I for one love a good book or movie as much as the next guy. But the stuff flying around through cyberspace, TV and the movies is not based on science. There is even a fake NASA news release out there… So here is the scientific reality on the celestial happenings in the year 2012.

Nibiru, a purported large object headed toward Earth, simply put – does not exist. There is no credible evidence – telescopic or otherwise – for this object’s existence. There is also no evidence of any kind for its gravitational affects upon bodies in our solar system.

I do however like the name Nibiru. If I ever get a pet goldflish (and I just may do that sometime in early 2013), Nibiru will be at the top of my list.

The Mayan calendar does not end in December 2012. Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period, but then – just as your calendar begins again on January 1 – another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.

There are no credible predictions for worrisome astronomical events in 2012. The activity of the sun is cyclical with a period of roughly 11 years and the time of the next solar maximum is predicted to occur in the period 2010 – 2012. However, the Earth routinely experiences these periods of increased solar activity – for eons – without worrisome effects. The Earth’s magnetic field, which deflects charged particles from the sun, does reverse polarity on time scales of about 400,000 years but there is no evidence that a reversal, which takes thousands of years to occur, will begin in 2012. Even if this several thousand year-long magnetic field reversal were to begin, that would not affect the Earth’s rotation nor would it affect the direction of the Earth’s rotation axis… only Superman can do that.

The only important gravitational tugs experienced by the Earth are due to the moon and sun. There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades, Earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. Each December the Earth and Sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence.

The predictions of doomsday or dramatic changes on December 21, 2012 are all false. Incorrect doomsday predictions have taken place several times in each of the past several centuries. Readers should bear in mind what Carl Sagan noted several years ago; “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

For any claims of disaster or dramatic changes in 2012, the burden of proof is on the people making these claims. Where is the science? Where is the evidence? There is none, and all the passionate, persistent and profitable assertions, whether they are made in books, movies, documentaries or over the Internet, cannot change that simple fact. There is no credible evidence for any of the assertions made in support of unusual events taking place in December 2012.

source:NASA’s website.

sachin tendulkar

November 29, 2009

An Indian cricketer widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket.

He is the leading run-scorer and century maker in Test and One Day International cricket.

In 2002, Wisden ranked him the second greatest Test batsman of all time, next to Donald Bradman. The second greatest one day international (ODI) batsman of all time, next to Viv Richards.

In September 2007, the Australian leg spinner Shane Warne rated Tendulkar as the greatest player he has played with or against.

He is sometimes referred to as Little Master or Master Blaster.

Tendulkar is the highest run scorer in both Test matches and ODIs, and also the batsman with the most centuries in either form of the game.

The first player to score fifty centuries in all international cricket combined, he now has eighty-eight international centuries.

On November 20, 2009, Tendulkar passed 30,000 runs in international cricket.

He was also the first player to score 10,000 runs in one-day internationals, and also the first player to cross every subsequent 1000-run mark that has been crossed in ODI cricket history.

Tendulkar has been honored with the Padma Vibhushan award, India’s second highest civilian award, and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honor.

Sunil Gavaskar, one of the greatest Indian Test batsmen, regarded as Tendulkar as being the “closest thing to batting perfection.”

Shane Warne had mentioned a decade back, “I’ll be going to bed having nightmares of Sachin just running down the wicket and belting me back over the head for six.

He was unstoppable. I don’t think anyone, apart from Don Bradman, is in the same class as Sachin Tendulkar. He is just an amazing player.”

Wasim Akram said “Cricketers like Sachin come once in a lifetime and I am privileged he played in my time.”

Viv Richards said “He is 99.5 percent perfect. I’d pay to see him.”

Brian Lara said “You know genius when you see it. And let me tell you, Sachin is pure genius.”

Barry Richards said “Sachin is cricket’s God.”

Richard Hadlee believes Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman ever to grace the game.

Steve Waugh has said in the past that Tendulkar will go down in history as the best ever batsman after Bradman.

Allan Donald considers Tendulkar to be the best batsman he has ever bowled to.

Ricky Ponting too believes that Tendulkar is the best batsman he has seen or played against.

Beauty of nature – Again

November 26, 2009

Found this beautiful picture in NASA’s website….



Thin Blue Line

The thin line of Earth’s atmosphere and the setting sun are featured in this image photographed by the crew of the International Space Station while space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-129 mission was docked with the station.

Beauty of Nature(space photos)

November 24, 2009

Coiled Creature———–SEE THE BLACK HOLE

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has imaged a wild creature of the dark — a coiled galaxy with an eye-like object at its center.The ‘eye’ at the center of the galaxy is actually a monstrous black hole surrounded by a ring of stars. In this color-coded infrared view from Spitzer, the area around the invisible black hole is blue and the ring of stars, white.

The galaxy, called NGC 1097 and located 50 million light-years away, is spiral-shaped like our Milky Waywith long, spindly arms of stars.

The black hole is huge, about 100 million times the mass of our sun, and is feeding off gas and dust, along with the occasional unlucky star. Our Milky Way’s central black hole is tame in comparison, with a mass of a few million suns.

The ring around the black hole is bursting with new star formation. An inflow of material toward the central bar of the galaxy is causing the ringto light up with new stars. And, the galaxy’s red spiral arms and the swirling spokes seen between the arms show dust heated by newborn stars. Older populations of stars scattered through the galaxy are blue. The fuzzy blue dot to the left, which appears to fit snugly between the arms, is a companion galaxy. Other dots in the picture are either nearby stars in our galaxy, or distant galaxies.

This image was taken during Spitzer’s cold mission, before it ran out of liquid coolant. The observatory’s warm mission is ongoing, with two infrared channels operating at about 30 degrees Kelvin (-406 degrees Fahrenheit).

Black Holes Go ‘Mano a Mano’

This image of NGC 6240 contains new X-ray data from Chandra (shown in red, orange, and yellow) that has been combined with an optical image from the Hubble Space Telescope originally released in 2008. In 2002, Chandra data led to the discovery of two merging black holes, which are a mere 3,000 light years apart. They are seen as the bright point-like sources in the middle of the image.

Scientists think these black holes

are in such close proximity because they are in the midst of spiraling toward each other — a process that began about 30 million years ago. It is estimated that they holes will eventually drift together and merge into a larger black hole some tens or hundreds of millions of years from now.

Finding and studying merging black holes has become a very active field of research in astrophysics. Since 2002, there has been intense interest in follow-up observations of NGC 6240, as well as a search for similar systems. Understanding what happens when these exotic objects interact with one another remains an intriguing question for scientists.

The formation of multiple systems of supermassive black holes should be common in the universe, since many galaxies undergo collisions and mergers with other galaxies, most of which contain supermassive black holes. It is thought that pairs of massive blackholes can explain some of the unusual behavior seen by rapidly growing supermassive black holes, such as the distortion and bending seen in the powerful jets they produce. Also, pairs of massive black holes in the process of merging are expected to be the most powerful sources of gravitational waves in the Universe.

Hosting Destruction

This artist’s concept illustrates the two types of spiral galaxies that populate our universe: those with plump middles, or central bulges (upper left), and those lacking the bulge (foreground).

New observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope provide strong evidence that the slender, bulgeless galaxies can, like their chubbier counterparts, harbor supermassive black holes at their cores. Previously, astronomers

thought that a galaxy without a bulge could not have a supermassive black hole. In this illustration, jets shooting away from the black holes are depicted as thin streams.

Andromeda in Ultraviolet

In a break from its usual task of searching for distant cosmic explosions, NASA’s Swift satellite acquired the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in the ultraviolet. The galaxy, known as M31 in the constellation Andromeda, is the largest and closest spiral galaxy to our own. This mosaic of M31 merges 330 individual images taken by Swift’s Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope. The image shows a region 200,000 light-years wide and

100,000 light-years high (100 arcminutes by 50 arcminutes).

Black hole

November 24, 2009
Black Hole

A black hole is a region of space whose gravitational force is so strong that nothing can escape from it. A black hole is invisible because it even traps light. The fundamental descriptions of black holes are based on equations in the theory of general relativity developed by the German-born physicist Albert Einstein. The theory was published in 1916.

Characteristics of black holes

The gravitational force is strong near a black hole because all the black hole’s matter is concentrated at a single point in its center. Physicists call this point a singularity. It is believed to be much smaller than an atom’s nucleus.

The surface of a black hole is known as the event horizon. This is not a normal surface that you could see or touch. At the event horizon, the pull of gravity becomes infinitely strong. Thus, an object can exist there for only an instant as it plunges inward at the speed of light.

Astronomers use the radius of the event horizon to specify the size of a black hole. The radius of a black hole measured in kilometers equals three times the number of solar masses of material in the black hole. One solar mass is the mass (amount of matter) of the sun.

No one has yet discovered a black hole for certain. To prove that a compact object is a black hole, scientists would have to measure effects that only a black hole could produce. Two such effects would be a severe bending of a light beam and an extreme slowing of time. But astronomers have found compact objects that are almost certainly black holes. The astronomers refer to these objects simply as “black holes” in spite of the small amount of uncertainty. The remainder of this article follows that practice.

Formation of black holes

According to general relativity, a black hole can form when a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel and is crushed by its own gravitational force. While a star burns fuel, it creates an outward push that counters the inward pull of gravity. When no fuel remains, the star can no longer support its own weight. As a result, the core of the star collapses. If the mass of the core is three or more solar masses, the core collapses into a singularity in a fraction of a second.

Galactic black holes

Most astronomers believe that the Milky Way Galaxy — the galaxy in which our solar system is located — contains millions of black holes. Scientists have found a number of black holes in the Milky Way. These objects are in binary stars that give off X rays. A binary star is a pair of stars that orbit each other.

In a binary system containing a black hole, that object and a normal, visible star orbit one another closely. As a result, the black hole strips gas from the normal star, and the gas falls violently toward the black hole. Friction between the gas atoms heats the gas near the event horizon to several million degrees. Consequently, energy radiates from the gas as X rays. Astronomers have detected this radiation with X-ray telescopes.

Astronomers believe that a number of binary star systems contain black holes for two reasons: (1) Each system is a source of intense and variable X rays. The existence of these rays proves that the system contains a compact star — either a black hole or a less compact object called a neutron star. (2) The visible star orbits the compact object at such a high velocity that the object must be more massive than three solar masses.

Supermassive black holes

Scientists believe that most galaxies have a supermassive black hole at the center. The mass of each of those objects is thought to be between 1 million and 1 billion solar masses. Astronomers suspect that supermassive black holes formed several billion years ago from gas that accumulated in the centers of the galaxies.

There is strong evidence that a supermassive black hole lies at the center of the Milky Way. Astronomers believe this black hole is a radio-wave source known as Sagittarius A* (SgrA*). The clearest indication that SgrA* is a supermassive black hole is the rapid movement of stars around it. The fastest of these stars appears to orbit SgrA* every 15.2 years at speeds that reach about 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) per second. The star’s motion has led astronomers to conclude that an object several million times as massive as the sun must lie inside the star’s orbit. The only known object that could be that massive and fit inside the star’s orbit is a black hole.

Predicting Apophis’ Earth Encounters in 2029 and 2036

November 24, 2009

Researchers at NASA/JPL, Caltech, and Arecibo Observatory have released the results of radar observations of the potentially hazardous asteroid 99942 Apophis, along with an in-depth analysis of its motion. The research will affect how and when scientists measure, predict, or consider modifying the asteroid’s motion. The paper has been accepted for publication in the science journal “Icarus” and was presented at the AAS/DPS conference in Orlando, Florida in October of 2007. The Apophis study was led by Jon Giorgini, a senior analyst in JPL’s Solar System Dynamics group and member of the radar team that observed Apophis.

The analysis of Apophis previews situations likely to be encountered with NEAs yet to be discovered: a close approach that is not dangerous (like Apophis in 2029) nonetheless close enough to obscure the proximity and the danger of a later approach (like Apophis in 2036) by amplifying trajectory prediction uncertainties caused by difficult-to-observe physical characteristics interacting with solar radiation as well as other factors.

Upon its discovery in 2004, Apophis was briefly estimated to have a 2.7% chance of impacting the Earth in 2029. Additional measurements later showed there was no impact risk at that time from the 210-330 meter (690-1080 foot) diameter object, identified spectroscopically as an Sq type similar to LL chondritic meteorites. However, there will be a historically close approach to the Earth, estimated to be a 1 in 800 year event (on average, for an object of that size).

The Arecibo planetary radar telescope subsequently detected the asteroid at distances of 27-40 million km (17-25 million miles; 0.192-0.268 AU) in 2005 and 2006. Polarization ratios indicate Apophis appears to be smoother than most NEAs at 13-cm scales. Including the high precision radar measurements in a new orbit solution reduced the uncertainty in Apophis’ predicted location in 2029 by 98%.

While trajectory knowledge was substantially corrected by the Arecibo data, a small estimated chance of impact (less than 1 in 45,000 using standard dynamical models) remained for April 13, 2036. With Apophis probably too close to the Sun to be measured by optical telescopes until 2011, and too distant for useful radar measurement until 2013, the underlying physics of Apophis’ motion were considered to better understand the hazard.